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PC4 style lycanthropic characters in 3E

by Sheldon Morris

While I was looking through my files for something else, I saw my Lycanthropic Characters file that I created to bring the PC4 rules into 3E. I created this when the PCs IMC meet and befriended a Traladaran Wereboar named Jib (and family) who live west of the village of Verge. A most memorable session indeed that caused their characters to get little sleep and be scared of the noises the chickens made outside (the Darine rouge PC in the group told the others he suspected Jib of lycanthropy).

Anyhow, now that I've strolled down memory lane, I thought I should share my conversions, open to comments and criticism!

Lycanthropic Characters

Characters that have lycanthropy gain experience and levels independently of any other classes. In other words, when a character contracts lycanthropy, it is as though he becomes two characters with two sets of ability scores, hit dice and points, levels, base attack bonuses, and skills (due to different ability scores and physical limitations). However, feats and saves combine and are the same regardless of which form he is in.

Level Progression

1 0 Must take animal form the night of the full moon, as well as the preceding and following nights. Can take animal form any night the moon is visible.
2 1,000 Damage reduction 3/silver. Can speak with other animals and were-creatures of the same type. Can take animal form at night (even without the moon). Natural armour bonus of +1 when in human or animal form.
3 3,000 Damage reduction 6/silver. Can take animal form at any time, including daytime. Can summon 1d2 normal animals of same type, provided some are in the area. Arrive in 1d4 rounds if in immediate vicinity; otherwise 1d4x10 minutes.
4 6,000 Damage reduction 10/silver. Can summon dire creatures as well as normal creatures of same type. Can take hybrid form any night the moon is visible. Natural armour bonus of +2 when in human or animal form.
5 10,000 Can summon 1d4 normal animals of same type. Can take hybrid form at night (even without the moon).
6 15,000 Can summon were-creatures of same type as well as normal creatures (DM determines how many are were-creatures). Can take hybrid form at any time, including daytime. Natural armour bonus of +3 when in human or animal form.
7 21,000 Can summon 1d6 normal animals of same type. Can take dire creature form instead of normal animal (control shape DC +5)
8 28,000 Specific Were-Creature Special Ability. Natural armour bonus of +4 when in human or animal form.
9 36,000 Can summon 1d8 normal animals of same type.
10 45,000 Natural armour bonus of +5 when in human or animal form.

Lycanthrope characters possess the following attributes

Physical abilities are increased by the animal form's ability modifiers when a lycanthrope changes to its animal or hybrid forms.

Lycanthropic Ability Modifiers

Werebat +0 +2 -4 +4 -2
Werebear +8 +2 +4 -4 - -1
Wereboar +4 - +6 -4 - -2
Werefox +0 +6 +2 -2 +2 -
Wererat +0 +6 +2 -4 +2 -1
Wereseal +2 +6 +2 -4 +2 -
Wereshark +4 +4 +2 -6 - -2
Weretiger +6 +4 +6 -4 +2 -
Werewolf +2 +4 +4 -4 +2 -1
Devil Swine +4 - +8 -2 - -2

Low-light vision and scent in any form.

Lycanthropes use a 1d8 hit dice per level of Lycanthropy. Hit points are kept separate for human form and were-form (animal and hybrid).

Feats are determined by level, independent of other character levels. All lycanthropes gain Iron Will as a free at first level. Feats gained by either class level or lycanthrope level are useable in any form provided it is physically possible as judged by the DM.

Base Save Bonus improves as per animal with fortitude and reflex being the good saves.

Skill points are 2 plus intelligence modifier per level (minimum 1 skill point per level), times four at first level. Class skills for a lycanthrope are balance, climb, escape artist, hide, intimidate, jump, listen, move silently, search, sense motive, spot, survival, swim, and tumble. Skills are combined with ranks from other class levels but use the lycanthropes ability scores.

Lycanthropic skill: Control Shape (Wis). Any character who has contracted lycanthropy and is aware of his condition can learn Control Shape as a class skill. An afflicted lycanthrope not yet aware of his condition can attempt Control Shape checks untrained. This skill determines whether an afflicted lycanthrope can control his shape. A natural lycanthrope receives an inherent +10 bonus to his Control Shape checks even if he does not have ranks in it. Note that the full moon also refers to the night before and after the actual night of the fullest moon (nights of the 14th, 15th, and 16th).

Check (Involuntary Change): An afflicted character must make a check at moonrise each night of the full moon to resist involuntarily assuming animal form. An injured character must also check for an involuntary change after accumulating enough damage to reduce his hit points by one-quarter and again after each additional one-quarter lost.

Resist involuntary change from full moon 25
Resist involuntary change from damage 20

Retry (Involuntary Change): Check to resist an involuntary change once each time a triggering event occurs.

Check (Voluntary Change): In addition, an afflicted lycanthrope aware of his condition may attempt to use this skill voluntarily in order to change to animal form, assume hybrid form (if of sufficient level), or return to human form, regardless of the state of the moon (again, if of sufficient level) or whether he has been injured.

Return to human form (full moon) 25
Return to human form (not full moon) 20
Assume hybrid form (if able) 20
Voluntary change to animal form (full moon) 15
Voluntary change to animal form (not full moon) 20

Retry (Voluntary Change): A character can retry voluntary changes to animal form or hybrid form as often as he likes. Each attempt is a standard action. However, on a failed check to return to human form, the character must remain in animal or hybrid form until the next dawn, when he automatically returns to human form.

Special: An afflicted lycanthrope cannot attempt a voluntary change until it becomes aware of its condition.

I can't help but write about our encounter with "Jib" so here it goes.

The background: This happened back when there was only myself as DM and my brother as player. He had (still has) two characters; Khalikov, an ex-miner turned fighter from Verge, and Rothrekr, a street rogue from Specularum with a Darine heritage. I played (still play) a DMPC named Dyzek from Specularum who was trained in the arcane arts by an Alphatian. Since the meeting of Jib and his family, we have had two more players enter the game. As of yet, they have no idea that when we speak of Jib, he is also a wereboar.

The encounter: The three young PCs where travelling east through the foothills to the west of Verge, where they were heading, along the northern slope of a broad valley. They then heard orc calls in the distance behind them as evening was coming soon. This was after their first adventure together and were still first level. As the sun was setting, they could tell that the orcs were getting very close so they tried to hide among a stand of trees with descent cover around them.

The orcs quickly came and lost track of their prey, but they knew they weren't far off. They split up and searched the area, slowly converging on the PCs. There was around 6 or 8 orcs and the young PCs were very tense about the situation. Then, from behind, two spears struck the trees close to Khalikov's head; they'd been spotted and the battle ensued. But the PCs were outnumbered and overpowered. Two orcs fell but it would not be long before the PCs were dealt with.

Then a loud voice yelled out in the tongue of the orcs. It was human. The orcs ceased the fighting but the apparent leader walked toward this unknown human. There was a brief argument but the orc backed down and took his kind with him. The three young PCs thanked the man and were invited to stay at his place for the night with his family. They ate and exchanged stories, but one of the tales told by this man named Jib was about his grandfather who battled with a great boar. Jib also said that this story also had a moral, for although his grandfather was victorious, he was never the same thereafter.

Jib then got up with a wink in his eye and went to bed, along with the rest of the family. A place to sleep was made for the three in the main room of the small house. Rothrekr however became increasingly worried and said that perhaps they have only gone from the frying pan to the pot. The other two didn't understand so he explained that he believed Jib to be a lycanthrope and how the story told of Jib's grandfather getting the disease from that boar. He looked around and saw no silver. Then they remembered the orcs; why would half a dozen orcs back down from Jib, unarmoured and unarmed?

The three laid there with eyes wide open and whispered about what they should do. Jib seemed like a nice man... but what if? They stayed a wake for a while before deciding to take watches, just in case! Fear increased as the moon began to shine through the small window and noises where heard outside.

The next day came and the three young men felt rather silly for the fear they felt the night before. Perhaps they were wrong. Perhaps they were right, but were wrong to fear such a gentle man. Jib's eldest daughter was provided to guide them back to Verge.

After many months and more adventures, the PCs (now level 2) returned to Verge to find out that the mine had collapsed several weeks ago and most of the men never made it out. Among the men who did not return was Khalikov's father. As they continued to travel to Threshold, they crossed paths with a man, weak and frantic. He claimed to have escaped from the orcs who caused the collapse of the mine and who have enslaved the survivors.

In the process of trying to put forth a rescue plan, the PCs searched out for Jib to aid them. There was a serious lack of men, and in addition, not everyone believed the story about the orcs. It took some time, but Jib agreed to help and during the rescue they saw first hand how a man turns into a man-boar!

What follows is an article that my bother wrote for the Hear-Say #2 (campaign newsletter). It was written to give the newer players in our group a little snippet of things their characters might hear our characters say of earlier events. (Gethora'tam is Dyzek's Alphatian mentor in the arcane arts as well as politics and law.)

[This is a player submission by Joel. The following is a conversion held between Rothrekr, Dyzek, and Khalikov. It occurred in Akorros after purchasing the horses, and was spoken in Thyatian.]

Rothrekr: I have a feeling that the orcs around Threshold might have to be dealt with when we get back as well.

Khalikov: Humph, and I have a feeling you may be right.

Rothrekr: Ah, you never know though. Jib has probably made some sort of agreement with them by now.

Khalikov: What sort of agreement could be made with orcs? The only accord that can be reached with orcs is done by the blade. They have but two options, they can die fighting or they can be slaughtered where they stand. (Laughter)

Rothrekr: (Chuckles) it wouldn't hurt to pay a visit to Jib regardless.

Khalikov: No, it wouldn't.

Rothrekr: How many silver pieces do you think he'll demand this time? (Said with a crooked smile)

Khalikov: Huh?

Dyzek: (Laughs) Too subtle Rothrekr. You forget who you speak to. (Glances at Khalikov)

Khalikov: (Grunts)

Dyzek: (More laughter) Khalikov would be in complete darkness on a night of a cloudless sky and a full moon.

Rothrekr: (Starts laughing) Perhaps we can get a full nights rest without being bored to death.

Khalikov: My sides split from the humour. I get it already!

Rothrekr: (Laughter subsides) Jib is a good man. Every good friend once was a stranger. He'll aid us again I'm sure.

Khalikov: I still have my doubts about his intentions.

Dyzek: Jib showed great hospitality. We should consider him an ally.

Khalikov: His affiliation with the orcs is anything but that of an enemy. He's a little too acquainted with them for my liking. Orcs are not creatures that should be negotiated with. They should be thrown into a pit and burned alive.

Rothrekr: Yeah well, whether we deal with them or not we should report back to The Palace while we're in Karameikos as well.

Dyzek: Right, The Palace. It's been a while indeed.

Khalikov: (Snorts)

Rothrekr: (Turns towards Dyzek) and I'd bet that you need to see Gethora'tam as well, Dyzek?

Dyzek: Yeah, to thicken my spell book, as it were. (Followed by a humble yet somewhat maniacal smile)

Rothrekr: Right... that's all you need. (His crooked smile resurfaces)

Khalikov: Maybe Gethora'tam can provide you with a spell to turn your dagger into a weapon. (Smirks wryly)

Dyzek: You make cracks now, but you both just wait. Someday you will be in awe of the magnificent power that you will know as Dyzek.

The three erupt in laughter.